ModWright Announces Mod for Sony HAP-Z1ES!

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modwright

ModWright Announces Mod for Sony HAP-Z1ES!
« on: 31 Mar 2014, 07:26 pm »
OK guys, fresh thread here.  The other Sony HAP thread got a bit off track and so this thread is dedicated to describing our new modification for the Sony HAP-Z1ES (only this model).  I will list details, photos, feedback, reviews and pricing.

Stock Images (Sony HAP-Z1ES):


MOD IMAGES TO FOLLOW!

Modification Details:

1) Stock IEC replaced with Furutech IEC, hard-wired to power input of player, eliminating molex connectors.
2) Stock analog stage and ALL op-amps are replaced with our choke/transformer inductive-coupled design, featuring a new passive I-V stage and fully balanced circuitry.
3) XLR and RCA outs both fed from tube stage. XLR outs are fully differential.
4) 'Truth' Umbilical made from 99.9999% pure Cardas Silver and Copper solid core wire and Cardas Litz for ground.
5) Upgrade of all critical digital power supply (Data, USB, and DAC supplies) with Os-Con capacitors.
6) Chassis damping applied.
7) External supply provided, to power tube stage only.

Results:

Fast, clean, organic, extended, RESOLVING and musical soundVisceral bass and extended highs with clean and sweet midrange.  Dead quiet noise floor and exceptionally low output impedance.

I am excited about this product as a solution to Ultra High End computer music playback, including DSD level playback for ALL recordings, thanks to the DSD engine which converts even 16/44.1 music to DSD resolution.

I have been quietly working on this since last Nov. First unit to ship week ending April 4, 2014!

Tube complement: (2) 6922 driver. (1) 5AR4, 5U4GB, 5V4GB, 5R4GYS and equivalents for rectifier.

This design, as well as the ELYSE DAC and PH 150 Ref. Phono all share in common, a new design direction that I have been exploring for some time, making extensive use of transformers and inductive coupling.  All circuits are ENTIRELY tube based, with the exception of SS voltage regulation.  They all also include use of the 6922 tube that I have found ideal for use in these circuits. 6922, 6DJ8, 7308 are all acceptable tubes to be used.  I am also going to evaluate 6N1P and 6H30 tubes this week!

Pricing:

Full tube mod as described with external supply and 'Truth' umbilical = $2995.

Intro pricing = $2495 through end of April!



I am still evaluating Bybee Rails and Audio Magic Pulse Gen to determine their benefit to this mod.

A volume control COULD be installed.  I would expect that most would want remote control as well.  I would not want to machine the face of the player, so I would expect the VC to mount from the rear of the player. This would make it difficult to tell what the volume level IS if using RC of course.  Input from those interested in this option welcome!

Thanks and I look forward to your reply.

Please contact us if you are interested in having a HAP-Z1ES modified or have questions.

We are now booking starting dates beginning: April 28, 2014!

Thanks,

Dan Wright
President, ModWright Instruments
360.247.6688
« Last Edit: 7 Dec 2016, 08:01 pm by modwright »

brownsfan

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 12
Re: ModWright Announces Mod for Sony HAP-Z1ES!
« Reply #1 on: 31 Mar 2014, 11:00 pm »
Dan,  Looks pretty exciting and I eagerly await pictures of the modded Sony.  If I am following your recent posts correctly, I take it the external power supply will be SS regulated. Will you be using the PS 9.0 with the sony, or a totally new power supply?

modwright

Re: ModWright Announces Mod for Sony HAP-Z1ES!
« Reply #2 on: 1 Apr 2014, 12:10 am »
Hi, the supply will be a version of the PS 9.0, yes.  I may make a few small changes, including poly decoupling caps and a tuned choke circuit.

However, the mod WILL be compatible with both PS 9.0 and 9.9 supplies.  I found that for THIS mod, I preferred the sound of SS regulation, but STILL preferred tube rectification.  In the case of our ELYSE DAC, it is tube rectified and SS regulated.  The Phono ended up being both SS rectified AND regulated.  It really depends on the circuit and source.

Photos to follow perhaps tomorrow.

I am hoping to debut a unit at the Chicago Axpona show!

Thanks,

Dan

teetee

Re: ModWright Announces Mod for Sony HAP-Z1ES!
« Reply #3 on: 1 Apr 2014, 04:23 pm »
Dan,
Which one sounds better to you? Oppo tube mod 105D or Sony HAP-Z1ES tube mod. I only could choose one.

modwright

Re: ModWright Announces Mod for Sony HAP-Z1ES!
« Reply #4 on: 1 Apr 2014, 06:50 pm »
First of all, do you want a Universal Player or a Music Server?

The Oppo 105 (and 105D) are Universal Players for CD/SACD/Blu-Ray/DVD/DVD-A/HDCD, etc.  They are also DACs that accept SPDIF and USB inputs (including DSD).  The Oppos also have GREAT 4K video and offer Multi-Channel playback.

The Sony is a music server that does not accept CD's and does not have digital inputs or outputs.  It requires you to transfer music to its internal HD via computer HD internal or external (USB).  It also accepts DSD and all hi-rez files AND additionally, upsamples all files to DSD resolution.  The Sony is 2CH music only, no video.  As a server, it is BRILLIANT!  Once you have your music library loaded, there is no need for a computer and it is a self-contained source.  I have found NO sonic compromise for this unit being a computer server AND player.

They both have external supplies and tube analog stages.

They both perform at a VERY high level of performance.  The biggest question is HOW you will use it?

Thanks,

Dan

munosmario

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 171
Re: ModWright Announces Mod for Sony HAP-Z1ES!
« Reply #5 on: 1 Apr 2014, 07:19 pm »
First of all, do you want a Universal Player or a Music Server?

The Oppo 105 (and 105D) are Universal Players for CD/SACD/Blu-Ray/DVD/DVD-A/HDCD, etc.  They are also DACs that accept SPDIF and USB inputs (including DSD).  The Oppos also have GREAT 4K video and offer Multi-Channel playback.

The Sony is a music server that does not accept CD's and does not have digital inputs or outputs.  It requires you to transfer music to its internal HD via computer HD internal or external (USB).  It also accepts DSD and all hi-rez files AND additionally, upsamples all files to DSD resolution.  The Sony is 2CH music only, no video.  As a server, it is BRILLIANT!  Once you have your music library loaded, there is no need for a computer and it is a self-contained source.  I have found NO sonic compromise for this unit being a computer server AND player.

They both have external supplies and tube analog stages.

They both perform at a VERY high level of performance.  The biggest question is HOW you will use it?

Thanks,

Dan

Dan, aside of how those two work (or what they can functionally do), in your opinion, how do you feel about or compare their SQ (the ultimate end for those of us who do not mind what means to that end).

Mario


JMosch

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 19
Re: ModWright Announces Mod for Sony HAP-Z1ES!
« Reply #6 on: 1 Apr 2014, 07:44 pm »
OK guys, fresh thread here.  The other Sony HAP thread got a bit off track and so this thread is dedicated to describing our new modification for the Sony HAP-Z1ES (only this model).  I will list details, photos, feedback, reviews and pricing.



1) Stock IEC replaced with Furutech IEC, hard-wired to power input of player, eliminating molex connectors.
2) Stock analog stage and ALL op-amps are replaced with our choke/transformer inductive-coupled design, featuring a new passive I-V stage and fully balanced circuitry.
3) XLR and RCA outs both fed from tube stage. XLR outs are fully differential.
4) 'Truth' Umbilical made from 99.9999% pure Cardas Silver and Copper solid core wire and Cardas Litz for ground.
5) Upgrade of all critical digital power supply (Data, USB, and DAC supplies) with Os-Con capacitors.
6) Chassis damping applied.
7) External supply provided, to power tube stage only.

Results:

Fast, clean, organic, extended, RESOLVING and musical soundVisceral bass and extended highs with clean and sweet midrange.  Dead quiet noise floor and exceptionally low output impedance.

I am excited about this product as a solution to Ultra High End computer music playback, including DSD level playback for ALL recordings, thanks to the DSD engine which converts even 16/44.1 music to DSD resolution.

I have been quietly working on this since last Nov. First unit to ship week ending April 4, 2014!

Tube complement: (2) 6922 driver. (1) 5AR4, 5U4GB, 5V4GB, 5R4GYS and equivalents for rectifier.

This design, as well as the ELYSE DAC and PH 150 Ref. Phono all share in common, a new design direction that I have been exploring for some time, making extensive use of transformers and inductive coupling.  All circuits are ENTIRELY tube based, with the exception of SS voltage regulation.  They all also include use of the 6922 tube that I have found ideal for use in these circuits. 6922, 6DJ8, 7308 are all acceptable tubes to be used.  I am also going to evaluate 6N1P and 6H30 tubes this week!

Pricing:

Full tube mod as described with external supply and 'Truth' umbilical = $2995.

Intro pricing = $2495 through end of April!

Photos to follow!

I am still evaluating Bybee Rails and Audio Magic Pulse Gen to determine their benefit to this mod.

A volume control COULD be installed.  I would expect that most would want remote control as well.  I would not want to machine the face of the player, so I would expect the VC to mount from the rear of the player. This would make it difficult to tell what the volume level IS if using RC of course.  Input from those interested in this option welcome!

Thanks and I look forward to your reply.

Please contact us if you are interested in having a HAP-Z1ES modified or have questions.

We are now booking starting dates beginning: April 28, 2014!

Thanks,

Dan Wright
President, ModWright Instruments
360.247.6688

Hi Dan,
So why the move away from the 6SN7? Is this part of an overall change  that will be reflected in future products?

John

modwright

Re: ModWright Announces Mod for Sony HAP-Z1ES!
« Reply #7 on: 1 Apr 2014, 11:12 pm »
Hi guys, a two prong question, so a two prong answer, as both points are important.

I chose the 6922 over the 6SN7, after listening to them both, because the lower plate impedance of the 6922 lends itself better to transformer coupled designs.  In this circuit, the 6922 is more linear and has lower distortion.  In the Oppo circuit - very different - the 6SN7 is perfect!

I am still doing comparative listening, to formulate an answer to your question.  The simple answer is that they are DIFFERENT!

The 6SN7 is perhaps a bit richer in its overall presentation, while the 6922 and circuit in the Sony is perhaps a bit more revealing and open.  The power supply (external) for the Sony also makes a BIG difference.  I have a PS 9.0 tube rectified and SS regulated supply (I find that for the SONY, I prefer the SS regulation) and an all-poly cap design without regulation and they both have their strengths.  Once I have done my final listening and made a decision about this, then I will do a final comparison with the Oppo and share more.

Thanks!

Dan

mmurt

Re: ModWright Announces Mod for Sony HAP-Z1ES!
« Reply #8 on: 2 Apr 2014, 06:04 pm »
just to be clear, if we have a PS 9.0 tube rectified supply and umbilical for another Modwright unit we can just swap and play?  If so, what is the cost of the mod w/o needing the PS?  Thanks Dan!

Mike

modwright

Re: ModWright Announces Mod for Sony HAP-Z1ES!
« Reply #9 on: 2 Apr 2014, 09:22 pm »
That is absolutely correct!

If you already have the supply and umbilical, the mod price would be $500 less.

Given the intro price of the Sony mod at $2495 + shipping, if you have your own supply and umbilical, then the intro cost (through end of April 2014) would be $1995.

Thanks and I look forward to your reply.

Sincerely,

Dan W.

brownsfan

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 12
Re: ModWright Announces Mod for Sony HAP-Z1ES!
« Reply #10 on: 6 Apr 2014, 01:56 am »
Dan thanks for your last post.  Having just bought a 9.9 for my 5400 , I have a 9.0 sitting around with nothing to do.  $1995 for your mods to the HAPZ1 per se looks pretty enticing. I think I am going to wait until late April, which will give you plenty of time to evaluate the pulse gen and Bybee rails.  Any plans to try one of Jerry's PEAs in the HAPZ1?

modwright

Re: ModWright Announces Mod for Sony HAP-Z1ES!
« Reply #11 on: 6 Apr 2014, 02:58 am »
Great and thanks.

I do plan to Evaluate the Bybee rails, Jerrys Pulse Gen Zx and his latest technology also.

We will have a modified Sony on display at the Axpona Chicago show next month.

Take care,

Dan

modwright

Re: ModWright Announces Mod for Sony HAP-Z1ES!
« Reply #12 on: 9 Apr 2014, 01:47 am »
We WILL have a Sony HAP-Z1ES with Truth Mods at the Chicago Axpona Show!

It was sold before I even had the chance to list it....

Amazon DOES have some stock of HAP-Z1ES units.  We had a hard time finding one to mod for the show.

Thanks!

Dan

brownsfan

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  • Posts: 12
Re: ModWright Announces Mod for Sony HAP-Z1ES!
« Reply #13 on: 26 Apr 2014, 04:18 pm »
Dan, I know you are busy with the show now, but once the dust settles, I think we would all like an update on sound comparisons with the Oppo 105 and Sony 5400(if you have done that comparison).  I also am eager to hear your thoughts on the Bybee rails, Audio Magic tweaks, and the final external PS design.   I have been playing with the stock HAPZ1 for about a week and a half now, and I do want to pull the trigger on the mods while you have the intro price in effect.

The stock unit is a pretty sweet piece.  I understand (and endorse) your enthusiasm for Sony's work on this.

modwright

Re: ModWright Announces Mod for Sony HAP-Z1ES!
« Reply #14 on: 30 Apr 2014, 12:58 am »
Hi, so far, the listening that I have done between them concludes that the Oppo is a bit warmer and romantic, while the Sony tends more towards the neutral and resolving end of things, but with NO harshness.

I have the Audio Magic Pulse Gen and Bybee rails to test, but am not there yet.

I have also designed the Sony for use with the PS 9.0, rather than PS 9.9, although both can be used.  The all tube supply DOES add a bit of warmth.

I will report back soon.

Thanks!

Dan

mav52

Re: ModWright Announces Mod for Sony HAP-Z1ES!
« Reply #15 on: 3 May 2014, 12:14 pm »
Will the tubes be sticking out the top of the unit, I hope not, as it will not fit in my stand  :duh:     

modwright

Re: ModWright Announces Mod for Sony HAP-Z1ES!
« Reply #16 on: 4 May 2014, 07:00 pm »
Hi, tubes do JUST stick out of the top, but not by much at all.  The holes are large enough so that it is easy to tube roll without removing the cover and to allow heat rejection from the tubes.

I will be extending the intro price of $2500 - THROUGH May, as I realize that we have not even had time to list it on our site and have not done full testing of Bybee rails and Audio Magic Pulse Gen Zx yet. 

I am preparing for the Munich show and it has been very busy.  We DO have a number of Sony's in progress and scheduled to modify and have already completed a number of units.

It was used at the Chicago show recently and will also be used at the Newport Show, by Dynamic Designs, in the Dynamic Designs, Stillpoints, ModWright, Helius room.

Thanks,

Dan

brownsfan

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 12
Re: ModWright Announces Mod for Sony HAP-Z1ES!
« Reply #17 on: 8 May 2014, 12:33 am »
Dan thanks for the updates during this insanely busy time.  I'm on your waiting list with my unit scheduled to ship on the 15th.  I will be very interested in your take on the Bybee rails and AM pulse gen, and asked that my unit not begin modification until your evaluation of those options is complete.   Based on your description of the sound above, it sounds like your modification retains and improves on the strengths of the stock unit (which I find to be excellent).  Since I have  both a PS 9.0 and a PS 9.9, I will have the luxury of not just tube rolling, but also power supply rolling!  Meanwhile, I am enjoying the opportunity to do some serious A/B with my ModWright 5400.  I do hope your HAPZ1 mod emulates the sweet, smooth strings (violin and viola) of the MW 5400.

modwright

Re: ModWright Announces Mod for Sony HAP-Z1ES!
« Reply #18 on: 8 May 2014, 04:21 am »
You will be VERY pleased and I will be sure that we evaluate the Pulse Gen and Bybee rails prior to completing work on your unit.

It IS every bit as good as the Sony 5400ES and while I prefer the 9.0 supply with this model, it really is a matter of taste and I look forward to your feedback.

Take care,

Dan W.

brownsfan

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Re: ModWright Announces Mod for Sony HAP-Z1ES!
« Reply #19 on: 8 May 2014, 10:46 am »
I've got a thread running now on audiogon detailing my A/B on the stock HAPZ1 with my ModWright 5400.  Bottom line is that to my surprise, the stock HAPZ1 is at least on a par with the MW 5400.  I did not expect that out of a stock machine from Sony.  I really do expect your mod package for the HAPZ1 will take this thing to a superb level.  It does need a bit of tube magic to address a lack of finesse in upper harmonics.  Detail, resolution, sound stage, articulation are already at a very high level in the stock units.  I've got some pretty detailed notes from the A/B with the stock unit, and the 5400 is staying with me, so I will be in a very good position to assess before and after on the HAPZ1 mod.   After burn in, it will be fun to A/B the 9.0 and 9.9 and I will be happy to post my thoughts.

I'm hoping that we will hear from the owners of some of your first units once they have a good burn in period.

Keep up the good work, Dan!